Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip

12 pieces
45 min

When fried chicken is what you want, these tenders are sure to satisfy. They are coated in cracker crumbs and deep-fried until golden brown. The coating is light, crispy, and crunchy. You won’t find any heavy and doughy breading here!

For a lighter option, feel free to bake. The tenders will still be delicious. Just spray cooking spray onto the tenders to help the coating brown and crisp. Bake for 15 to 20 minutes at 400° F.

The dip is creamy, tangy, sweet, with bits of sweet red peppers. It’s so easy to make with sweet pepper relish as the base. Sour cream, mayonnaise, and ketchup are added to make it super tasty. So good!! Don’t be surprised if you want to make extra to dip all kind of things!

More information and additional images can be found at In Good Flavor.

Crispy Chicken Tenders With Sweet Pepper Relish Dip
Recipe details
  • 12  pieces
  • Prep time: 25 Minutes Cook time: 20 Minutes Total time: 45 min
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For the Chicken:
  • 2 pounds chicken tenderloins (about 12 to 14 pieces depending on the size)
  • 50 butter flavored crackers (I use Ritz)
  • 1 cup flour
  • 1 1/2 teaspoon salt
  • 1 teaspoon black pepper
  • 1/2 teaspoon garlic powder
  • 1/2 teaspoon onion powder
  • 1 1/2 teaspoons smoked paprika
  • 2 eggs
  • 3 tablespoons milk
  • canola or vegetable oil for frying
For the Sweet Pepper Relish Dip:
  • 3/4 cup sweet pepper relish 
  • 1/8 cup sour cream
  • 1/8 cup mayonnaise
  • 1/8 cup ketchup

Place crackers in a large plastic bag. Lightly smash into coarse crumbs using a coffee cup or your hands. You want to leave a good amount of coarse crumbs (yields about 1 1/2 cups crumbs). Place in a plate or a wide shallow bowl.
Combine flour, salt, pepper, garlic powder, onion powder, smoked paprika in a wide shallow bowl. Blend well with a fork. 
In a third bowl, whisk add eggs and milk. 
To bread chicken: Dip into flour mixture, shaking off excess. Dip into egg mixture. Next, dip into cracker crumbs, patting crumbs onto the chicken. Place on a tray. Continue breading the remaining chicken. 
Place one inch of oil in a medium frying pan or heavy bottom saucepan that is at least 2-inches deep. Preheat to 360° F. 
Place some tenders into hot oil (cook in batches to void overcrowding). Cook between 6 to 8 minutes total, depending on the size, turning over once hallway. Done when the outside is golden brown or when there is no pink in the center when sliced through. 
Place on a metal drying rack to drain. Continue cooking the remaining chicken. 
To make dip: combine red pepper relish, sour cream, mayonnaise, and ketchup in a small bowl. Serve alongside chicken tenders. 
  • To retain maximum crispiness, cool completely before placing chicken tenders in a container to store. 
  • Baking option: Place tenders on a baking sheet that has been coated with cooking spray. Spray chicken tenders with a coating of cooking spray. Bake in a preheated 400° F for 15 to 20 minutes, depending on the size of the tenders. Or cook until the internal temperature is 165° F.
  • To reheat: preheat oven to 400° F. Place tenders on a baking sheet equipped with wire rack. Insert an empty rack above the chicken. Place in the oven. Place a sheet of foil on this rack, positioned directly over the baking sheet below (this protects the chicken from over browning). Bake for 10 minutes or just long enough to heat through. 
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  • Joanne Robinson Joanne Robinson on May 26, 2021

    This looks so delicious and a welcome change to the ordinary breadcrumbs that I usually use. Thanks so much for this recipe.

    • In Good Flavor In Good Flavor on May 26, 2021

      Thank you Joanne! I love the light crunch of the cracker crumbs. I appreciate you stopping by!

  • Oh my goodness... now I'm hungry lol I've never had any luck using Ritz! They always get too dark, I assumed it was the sugar. I'm gonna hafta try again. With your sweet pepper sauce! 😋

    • In Good Flavor In Good Flavor on May 27, 2021

      Haha! I’m so glad you’re going to give Ritz another chance! The crackers can get too dark if the oil is too hot. Keeping an eye on the oil temp will help. Good luck!!!